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  • News & article

    Ravens' feast

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 27/12/2018

    » This reviewer's understanding of historical novels is that the authors do historical research on their topic, using actual figures and imaginary ones where need-be, to write essentially factual and hopefully interesting stories. But not all historical novelists follow this form. Some are more concerned about their own largely fictitious story than the actual events behind it.

  • News & article

    Supply and demand

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 22/09/2017

    » During the era of the Raj, India was the leading poppy grower. It was sold worldwide as a treatment for hysteria in women and hyperactivity in children. Only China refused to have anything to do with it because it was addictive, but two opium wars taught them how to take it.

  • News & article

    Action-packed

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 15/06/2018

    » When a popular author passes away, his/her estate seeks a replacement to keep generating income. Hopefully, one who can step into the shoes with nary a squeak. Alas, there have been more than a few squeaks and the replacement -- a competent scribe for the stories he's accustomed to writing -- is unable to make the change. The estate may try others with the same result.

  • News & article

    Tongue-in-cheek

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 19/01/2018

    » It has been a while a since I smiled while reading a book. My sense of humour is good and I don't hold back my laughter at something that tickles my funny bone. I find Thai double-entendres most amusing. This reviewer wishes books were funny. Those called hilarious by critics simply aren't.

  • News & article

    A Chinese empire?

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 17/11/2017

    » As a youngster in the Big Apple during the Great Depression, I recall men with billboard signs with "The world is coming to an end -- REPENT". The people they passed on the streets shrugged them off. l didn't fully understand what it meant, but I knew that threats aren't to be taken lightly.

  • News & article

    Be prepared

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 09/06/2017

    » A reporter outside my homeland for more than a half-century, I never had the gall to call myself a foreign correspondent, lacking the qualifications of working for an American publication -- my byline in India, Japan and Thailand notwithstanding -- even though Time magazine gave me an honourable mention.

  • News & article

    The Chinese spy

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 10/02/2017

    » If the majority of cloak and dagger scriveners are to be believed, look no further than the CIA for enemy spies (or MI6 as the case may be). In their espionage thrillers, both top secret intelligence agencies are infested with foreign moles and domestic traitors, often in high positions.

  • News & article

    Crisis of conscience

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 11/07/2016

    » There isn't a community, hamlet or metropolis that doesn't have crime. And anywhere there is crime there are police. And where there are police, there are people to write about them, journalists and novelists. They tend to portray the police as more efficient than they are, to make the reader feel more safe.

  • News & article

    Empires don't endure the ages

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 23/05/2016

    » Empires have come and gone throughout human history -- some lasting more than a millennium, others less than a century. Contemporary historians keep analysing the reasons for their rise and fall. They peruse the same documents and works of earlier historians and eyewitnesses, yet often arrive at differing conclusions.

  • News & article

    Loving non-humans

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 25/04/2016

    » The close relationship between humans and lower forms of animals was noted millennia before Charles Darwin found a primordial connection. The relationship broadened in Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book.

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